I had a random thought today. Some people don’t understand why I want a cure so badly when they see me successfully living with T1D every day. They don’t understand why I need a cure when I have an insulin pump. If only they understood!
I’ve heard diabetics say, “insulin is my life support, not a cure,” and this is ridiculously true. A cure would mean that I would never have to worry about T1D again. I would get to live the life of a normal teenager. A cure would mean no more carb counting, no more insulin calculating, no more pump or sensor wearing, and no more waking up at 2 am to drink a juice box.
Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly blessed to live in this time period where I have all this amazing technology, and I understand how much better I have it than the diabetics who came before me. However, my pump is still only a treatment. Just like my juice box treats my low, my insulin treats my diabetes. A treatment isn’t a one time thing, but a cure would be. A treatment controls something for the time being, but a cure would control something forever.
I absolutely can not wait until the day we find that cure. Every dollar we raise, every day we advocate, and every person we educate means we are that much closer to this long anticipated cure. It will be a beautiful day when the generations after us do not even know what T1D is.
I already know what you’re thinking… diaversary?
A diaversary is the anniversary of the day you were diagnosed with diabetes! Some people go all out with cakes or even parties to celebrate. It sounds silly, but to a T1D, it’s exciting to realize that we successfully survived another year with this disease.
For me, a diaversary is a day to reflect.
August 13, 2008 will forever be stamped into my mind as the day that changed my life. It was the last day I ate without counting carbs or calculating insulin, it was the last day I went without poking my finger, and it was the last day I had ultimate freedom.
While I can easily be grim in remembering this date, I try to stay optimistic about it! Yesterday, I took time to reflect on all the amazing opportunities T1D has brought my way. I have made lifetime friends, and there are things that I would have never had the chance to experience if it weren’t for T1D. I also like to take the time to think about how much the support and encouragement of my family and friends has helped me through this disease. I know that there are plenty of nights that I could have died while sleeping if my mom had not woken up to take care of me. I also know that I would not have the perseverance and determination that I do if it weren’t for the constant positive words and motivation I receive from everyone around me. Lastly, my diaversary makes me think about how much I truly am looking forward to a cure! While I strive my best everyday to fight diabetes, I can not wait until the day where my life is no longer a struggle.
5 years of living with T1D has brought a whirlwind of new friends, opportunities, and blessings, but it has also brought emotional, physical, and mental daily challenges. I honestly hope that yesterday was my last diaversary, but I know that I will continue to thrive in my fight and wait for the cure!
Sorry that I have not posted in so long! The past few weeks have been extremely hectic, and believe it or not, school starts next week!
I never got to post about everything we did at Children’s Congress. Everything felt like a whirl wind while we were there, and I was still trying to take in everything that happened when we got back.
The first 2 days were spent making lifetime friends, learning so much about exciting research, and training for our Capitol Hill meetings. On Wednesday, the delegates took Capitol Hill by storm, as everywhere you looked, there were determined delegates in blue Children’s Congress t-shirts. All of my meetings with Mississippi’s representatives and senators went remarkably well! Not only did each of them take the time out of their busy schedules to meet personally with us, they were all so open to hearing my story of living with Type 1 Diabetes. All Congressmen were so excited to continue their support of JDRF and finding a cure by promising to sign the letter of intent about supporting the Special Diabetes Program.
After our meetings, we had the incredible opportunity to take a group picture with none other than the Vice President! He was very inspiring in encouraging all of us to never let diabetes stop us. While we were still starry eyed, we headed straight to the Senate hearing. The most touching person to testify was Ray Allen, the NBA champion, whose young son lives with T1D. Ray really touched everyone and it felt like he was speaking the words right out of every type one’s mouth.
It is still hard for me to believe that Children’s Congress is already over! While it flew by, I made so many lifetime memories and friendships. I came home so excited about advocacy and the cure. I was really motivated to take better care of myself until the day the cure comes, because I believe that that day will be very soon.
As the hectic last minute touches are being made for Children’s Congress, it’s hard to believe that I’ll be leaving in just 4 days for DC! I’m still trying to make sure my shoes are delivered in time, my mom is on the phone right now trying to get a token from our state to bring all the delegates, and I have another tv interview that was just rescheduled for tomorrow morning. While these next few days are only going to get busier by the minute, I know that it will all be worth it the moment we land in DC. We get 2 days of sightseeing before Children’s Congress actually starts, so I am excited about planning out what to visit. I already know that one of the first stops will be Georgetown Cupcake! But, of course, the part I am most looking forward to is helping my congressmen put a face to T1D. I am ecstatic knowing that all my efforts on this trip will be making a difference in the fight to cure diabetes, and I am forever grateful to JDRF for this opportunity! Stay online to read all my updates as I plan to blog the entire trip. It’ll be like you’re on Capitol Hill with me! :)
The worst parts of diabetes that no one ever talks about:
1. Shaving your legs when your pump site is on your thigh. It’s pretty common to find a circle of stubble on my leg.
2. When your sugar is low at night after brushing your teeth. Nothing is better than the combination of apple juice and toothpaste.
3. Pump site and sensor tan lines. There is a huge white circle on both sides of my stomach year round.
4. Having to plug in your site in public (especially in jeans). No, I am not reaching down my pants for fun. This is a medical emergency!
5. Just like the last one, having to bolus when you are wearing a dress. Oh, just casually slipping my hand up my dress…
6. When your parents ask you if you are high… in public. To all of the strangers who have heard this in the grocery store, they were talking about my blood sugar.
It’s crazy how your body gets so used to certain blood sugars, even if they are way out of range. The past month or so, I was having to treat at least one low every single night. After my endocrinologist corrected my overnight basal, I was pretty much perfect (well as close as a diabetic can get to perfect!) every night. However, last night around midnight when I was going to bed (excuse my crazy summer sleep schedule), my sugar dropped to 79. I got extremely shaky and before checking, I honestly thought that I was in the 50’s or 60’s. Since I hadn’t had a low in so long, my body wasn’t used to that awful feeling. After a (yummy) correction of skittles and milk, I started to really think about lows. It made me realize how dangerous lows can be to my body and how wrong it was for me I have let myself get used to so many lows in the past. So after some late night deep thinking, I know that in the future when I encounter a week or two on constant lows, I will contact my doctor right away to correct my doses. I want my body to only be used to blood sugars in the normal range!
This past weekend, my church participated in World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine. While fasting for 30 hours, young people all over the world participate in community outreach events and raise money for people whose reality is starving every day. Due to the global food crisis, a child dies from hunger every 13 seconds.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking… How in the world does a type 1 fast for 30 hours? I planned on participating, but 3 hours into it, I was super shaky and dizzy with a low of 46. Needless to say, I had to change my plans. I went home to eat dinner that night and breakfast in the morning. I did fast from lunch, but I had to drink juice 3 times after all the walking we did.
Once again, diabetes stopped me from doing what I had planned on. Once I got past the hungry glares when a few jelly beans (my go to low snack) slipped out of my purse, I started to think about what kids in other countries with type 1 do. Diabetes doesn’t just affect people who have enough money for food and medical supplies. After much research, I was glad to read of different organizations who have made it their mission to provide education and supplies to developing countries.
This realization has made me even more antsy for a cure (as if that was possible.) While I will continue to do everything I can to support research for a cure, I look forward to learning more about other diabetics world wide.